Reconciliation and Indigenous-Social Work Relations
0.5 Credit

Hours per week:
  • Lecture/Discussion: 3

This course provides knowledge for understanding the historic colonial processes that have deeply impacted First Nations communities in Canada, and the role social work has played in those violent dynamics. A central premise of the course is that reconciliation requires an active awareness of this history as part of the process towards decolonizing Canadian institutions, including the profession of social work that is our focus. As such, students will critically look into the past, present,and future of missions (e.g., Christian, Residential Schools, Social Work 60s Scoop) that had the goal of helping Indigenous communities, but more often were central to their disempowerment and resulting social impacts. We are concerned with the problematic relations between Indigenous communities and social work as a means for beginning to consider what healing entails for both the Indigenous survivors of intergenerational trauma and a profession that is implicated in this social violence. To learn about the potential future of our healing profession, we will follow the lead of Indigenous worldviews and experiences as it pertains to understanding this colonizing history and what healing entails. These views will be brought into a dialogue with social work research that has the potential for fostering more respectful relations. Those learners who see themselves working with First Nations, Inuit, and/or Metis communities as a social worker will benefit from the specific decolonizing knowledge and perspectives on healing that this course offers, though a more comprehensive engagement of holistic healing practices will be covered in SK422.

Additional Course Information
SK211, SK212, SK221, SK223 and Year 3 status in the Bachelor of Social Work program